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Air Marshal Arshad Malik, CEO of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), said that the New York Roosevelt Hotel isn’t being sold, but that it would be shut down by 31 December for restoration and reconstruction purposes.
While briefing Senate Standing Committee on Aviation that was chaired by Senator Mushahidullah Khan, Malik said: “The PIA has approached the privatisation commission through the federal government, which will hire a financial consultant via an international tendering process to devise the future course of action, considering all the available options.”
“It will be decided later whether necessary renovation or repair work be carried out or the existing building is demolished for reconstruction and raising a 100-story hotel for which local bylaws are conducive.”
The PIA chief’s statement came after Roosevelt management revealed earlier this month that the hotel would permanently shut its door on October 31.
“Due to the current economic impacts, after almost 100 years of welcoming guests to ‘The Grand Dame of New York’ The Roosevelt Hotel is regretfully closing its doors permanently as of October 31, 2020,” the notice published on the website had said.
The PIA chief informed the senators that due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic; the declining business situation has deteriorated and could increase the company’s losses to $6 million per year.
Senator Mushahidullah Khan, chairman of the committee, said the PIA should consider reopening the routes where COVID-19 issues are under control, especially in countries such as Japan and China.
Khan said his committee would help the sustainable growth of the PIA administration and initiatives to strengthen its services as the airliner was going through a challenging period.
In 1999, Senator Khan said, it acquired $36.5 million in 100 percent shareholdings from its own resources and without any government assistance.
The property had more than a thousand suites, with an area of 43,313 square feet, and was owned by ‘Interstate Hotel and Resorts’ USA, the world’s largest hotel management firm.
The committee was told that the hotel’s actual market worth, assessed by M / s Deloitte, based on the largest and best use, was $662 million.
The hotel’s financial position was in the ‘Red,’ largely due to debt servicing, unionisation, dilapidated infrastructure, infrastructure, rooms, and conditions of the public area, which needed urgent improvements and major repairs in the existence of severe weather conditions.